I’ll admit it, the cover of this book drew me in because it reminded me of the color scheme of Hanson’s latest releases – Loud and Play.  It wasn’t lost on me that both of those words were also included in the title! The book is the history of the electric guitar, which goes allllll the way back to 1882 and to the present.  The way the author(s) wrote about the guitar really showed just how excited they were about it and in turn it got me really excited to continue reading the book – and I’m not sure reading about guitars is something I would otherwise be excited about.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write my review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

By a pair of veteran music writers, an unprecedented history of the electric guitar, its explosive impact on music and culture, and the people who brought it to life

For generations the electric guitar has been an international symbol of freedom, danger, rebellion, and hedonism. In Play It Loud, Brad Tolinski and Alan di Perna bring the history of this iconic instrument to roaring life. It’s a story of inventors and iconoclasts, of scam artists, prodigies, and mythologizers as varied and original as the instruments they spawned.

Play It Loud uses twelve landmark guitars—each of them artistic milestones in their own right—to illustrate the conflict and passion the instruments have inspired. It introduces Leo Fender, a man who couldn’t play a note but whose innovations helped transform the guitar into the explosive sound machine it is today. Some of the most significant social movements of the twentieth century are indebted to the guitar: It was an essential element in the fight for racial equality in the entertainment industry; a mirror to the rise of the teenager as social force; a linchpin of punk’s sound and ethos. And today the guitar has come full circle, with contemporary titans such as Jack White of The White Stripes, Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent), and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys bringing some of the earliest electric guitar forms back to the limelight.

Featuring interviews with Les Paul, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, and dozens more players and creators, Play It Loud is the story of how a band of innovators transformed an idea into a revolution.